eternal, restless
Davis McCombs

eternal, restless

Wind cranks the handle on the grindstone made of ice,
hones one slim evening to a blade of light, then less;
then sparks go skittering among the trees. This is the way
it starts to snow, the way the trails he prowled in life are lit
by ice. The woman drifts to her window, clicks on a lamp.
Now maybe a gust, off-kilter, gathers up a body of flakes;
maybe it bristles, whimpers, but pretty soon it’s scratching
at her door, and pretty soon she’s dreaming of the past,
and maybe, just once, his name will cross her mind
like the shadow of an owl. Now even the night begins
to fidget, as if the pulse of rivers in his wrist were beating
to the throb of rivers underground, as if the owl were real,
as if it ever really snowed, or started to, like this.

Davis McCombs

is the author of two collections: Ultima Thule (Yale 2000), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Dismal Rock (Tupelo 2007), which won the Dorset Prize. He is currently the Director of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. This poem is from a sequence about the killing, on January 16, 1902, of the last gray wolf in Edmonson County, Kentucky.